‘Uhs’ and ‘Ums’: Among the Verbal Tics of Psychopaths – They interrupt speech to mask their madness: study

‘Uhs’ and ‘Ums’: Among the Verbal Tics of Psychopaths – They interrupt speech to mask their madness: study.


8 thoughts on “‘Uhs’ and ‘Ums’: Among the Verbal Tics of Psychopaths – They interrupt speech to mask their madness: study

  1. I’m not so sure I believe this one. I know in Toast Masters there’s a whole game about catching the uhs and ums of all new attendees. Both my sister and young brother have attended meetings, and commented on what a common error this is in speaking. It’s something everyone struggles with in an effort to fill the silence when trying to formulate a thought. Uh, um, and er are space fillers. It also sets one up if the person has done something like Toast Masters and learned to curb the habit. What I DO notice is that they seem to be unable to track a conversation that isn’t directed by them, so they have to wrestle for control. If it means interrupting with something completely unrelated to the present topic, so be it.

    1. In most cases this is the case. in the article it also mentions the “uhs and ums” in succession with impersonal statements like “so that” instead of “so I can”. The two together are a supposed indicator. One commenter said it very well, ”

      “brawne Oct 24, 2011 4:18 PM CDT
      Psychopaths have no conscience whatsoever. It’s much easier to see their linguistic patterns as simply an inability to make the words and music match. They aren’t really human and that’s the problem for us all. How do you spot one when you can fake being human as easily as learning Spanish? I’d be nice if we had the guts to label them. Some chick steals a hundred grand from the dentist she works for and can lie like smooth silk–you don’t want to marry her. But the dentist just fires her too scared to say a word and she goes on to the next job and marries the boss’s son. He cheats on her and she burns all his clothes and fights him in court for ten years over the kids all the while not caring about them. He bitches about her to everyone but never sees that she’s just a psychopath because she speaks Spanish really well. She’s three percent of the population and you don’t want to run into her. You really don’t want her teaching your kids. I have a friend who’s a forensic psychologist and she works for hospitals to suss out nurses killing patients. They just fire them. You run into them all the time–the killers are just easy to spot cause they never kill anyone in the heat of passion. How could they? They feel no passion. They feel nothing except an interest in other people as a game. Listen to yourself–if you ignore the charm, you should feel your skin crawl.”

      One of the things I remember when catching my X, scheming…and using a “story line” to do it, is my skin crawling. He would pick a subject out of the blue, to get me to talk about it…push the direction just once to much and my skin would crawl. He did it several times. Usually (though I didn’t know his schemes much of the time) he would push a discussion about a certain topic to get me to talk about it. Many times it was THEN that he would take my words as 1) either a way to prove to others how “good” he is; or 2) twist a scenario in which he would use ME as the Pawn.

      1. WOW! “Listen to yourself–if you ignore the charm, you should feel your skin crawl.” That’s it exactly!! I dated a guy, for three years, and I always had the feeling he practiced those lines that were so perfect for the moment.

        1. There were a few things that my X would say to me, that would make me feel like I was “chosen” out of a line-up of other girls. He was probably playing the same game with other girls that were just as empathetic and “weak” as me. I was (there might have been others) the only one that took the bait.

          One thing he kept saying to me is, “I need a STRONG woman”. My thought on that one every time…”then why are you trying to weaken me?” I still can’t imagine or understand the twisted psyche of this type of individual. I suppose the best explanation I have been able to settle on is, “it just IS”. No real rhyme or reason for it, other than the fact that he HAD to play out a serial game. I was chosen as the perfect subject. He called it, “helping” me and “love”. I call it sick, twisted, cruel, torturous and the list goes on. He was (as he told me) abandoned by his mother, raised by his grandparents, and for whatever reason is stuck there. He has to play out the abandonment scenario…while attempting to brainwash the woman he has chosen, to keep her there. No empathy or conscience in what he was doing to me. I was just a “subject” he chose, with no (as he believed) worth. It’s the “skin crawling” part that REALLY made me pay attention to the situation, what he was saying, etc. I learned to think like him in order to protect myself (a poor option), which gave me the ability to get into his thoughts and somewhat predict what he was trying to do. I was in the presence of evil, and I knew it.

          1. I’m always a bit surprised by the “excuses” offered. In the case of your ex, I think of one of my friends who was raised by her grandparents, and she turned out amazing. Somewhere along the way, they make a choice not heal, and it makes all the difference. Figuring out how they think was a survival tool. The important thing was to not think like them, to make a different choice. Congratulations on being one of those who made a different choice. 🙂 Now that’s a club of which I like being a member.

          2. Me, too..judy :D…Me too!

            sometimes I feel like that chosen tool I had, has become a bit of a nemesis for me. It became as much of a way of life for me, as breathing. It’s not my thoughts but more of a paranoid awareness, now. I learned because I became afraid of him. I’m still afraid of him, work for the same company, and know he has no boundaries as to his scheming or retaliation. He’s proven that. I still have to be aware 24/7 to protect myself. I really do hate living like this, but it’s slowly dissipating and I find myself more at ease in my situation. Room for improvement…that’s for sure.

            I learned to do this..but as I stated above..it’s more of an awareness. I learned to watch his every move, listen to his every word, and predict how he might attack me due to some senseless object or thought of his. I tried to avoid all of that. Checked my garbage for something he might question me on (honestly, it could be an orange peel that he wasn’t used to seeing). I did a quick scan of my home (there was nothing out of the norm that I should have been worried about) for anything that he might use as ammo. If it could be twisted, he used it to scheme and attack me..he twisted it into a malleable subject that was somewhat believable to anyone on the outside. I didn’t really change my own thinking but allowed myself to understand (as much as I could) how he thought and viewed me..viewed the world around him, etc. I allowed myself to see how he viewed the universe, and potential ammunition for use at a later (or sooner) time.

            I dream of a day that I won’t have to do that any longer, and be at peace…fully.

  2. Wow… we worked our way to the bottom of the comment forum. I wanted to add one more thing: One of the most useful things I learned in dealing with the narc in my life — like you, I was constantly searching for the littlest thing that might be used against me — I finally realized that if they have to they will lie to create a problem. My NM has made stuff up. I was scrambling my brain trying to remember what she was talking about, until I started becoming healthier, and caught on to the trick. I still sometimes have to chant to myself that it isn’t me, it’s her. Hang in there!

    1. True dat! lol!! I experienced the same thing. He could take a “nothing” and twist it into being something, which was nothing more than a lie. He’s exposed. I’m hoping that as awareness grows, his influence will be less, and knowing that exposure, will push him into quitting his job. so far he’s moved from a home he vowed to NEVER leave because of the cheap rent. Cool, cool 😀

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